Friday, January 30, 2009

18th and Columbia

This is the intersection known as the "heart" of Adams Morgan.

To the left stands my old apartment building, the Melwood, and to the right, the SunTrust square. On Saturday mornings, local vendors set up and sell flowers and vegetables for several hours. Some of the weekend shoppers may have been there in August 1967 when the Ambassador Theatre stood on the same spot and Jimi Hendrix played much to the distress of frightened neighbors and merchants. The psychedelic stage closed down within six months.

And years before that, on January 28, 1922, the Knickerbocker Theatre collapsed under the weight of 28 inches of snow killing many but leaving to history stories of rescue and heroism.

And today, a bank, but tomorrow, maybe something different.

pic by Nancy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

42 Bus: Dupont Circle

The 42 bus starts at Metro Center, goes up 17th street, over to Connecticut, and then through Adams Morgan out to Mount Pleasant. It comes every 10 minutes, all day long. This photo was taken by Nancy at one of the Dupont Circle stops. The absence of color other than a few shots of red or pink makes it look intentionally colourized. (I get a lot of hits for the 42 bus so am adding here a link to the schedule and route map.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

42 Bus: Columbia Rd and Ontario

The Robert Frank exhibit inspired Nancy to start shooting for herself again. This photo is of people waiting for the 42 bus in Adams Morgan.

The pic started a conversation between us about how I find RF's images a little uncomfortable and sad while her's are of a similar subject matter but show a warmer humanity (although a little cold in this case).

Nancy's response is as follows: I think though in a way he's right about the subjects he photographed because he was an immigrant. I think his is the immigrant view which is really where we all come from. We are unfortunately detached from our history. Even though we 'do' alot of things other countries envy, there is an underlying sense of sadness here because we don't have our roots. Despite this, I think Americans are the most generous and caring people around who also value the significance of our short human life. She calls this photo "Bus Stop Prayer."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Orange Line: Smithsonian (National Gallery of Art)

I've done a lot of off-line whining lately about how bored I am out in the suburbs and finally decided today to "pick myself up" and do something about it. In addition to my earlier book challenge, I'm going to blog about the orange line and what this easy-to-access mode of transportation has to offer me (and perhaps you). This afternoon, I'm meeting a friend at the National Gallery of Art to take in a series of Robert Frank photos.

4th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20565

Within easy walking distance of the orange line's Smithsonian stop. For exhibition information, go here and to buy the companion book, go here.

Post-gallery note: The National Mall doesn't have one spec of grass or gravel left! I guess that's what the feet of two million people will do to a place!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Generational Change

My friend Nancy took this photo after the parade when she was walking to the bus to go back home. The Washington Post was already printed and out on the street.

To me this image speaks of the generational change that occurred when President Obama took office. The old and broken giving way to a new, strong beginning. See how the photographer's shadow reflects on the side walk? Both she and the newspaper are documenting history.

And notice how the older woman is wearing a full-length fur coat? More than likely she is an Obama-supporter who got out of the house at all costs but the style still speaks of a generation past. And coincidently, the orange sign behind the vendor spells "access," the hope of millions for this administration.

If you need a photographer in the DC, VA, MD or NYC area, contact me at leslieinadamsmorgan (at) gmail (dot) com. I'll put you in touch with Nichols Photo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New America!

We embrace it. We feel it. We welcome Barack and Michelle to Washington.

Photo from The Washington Post.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today in DC

As we prepare for President-elect Obama's inauguration this Tuesday,
here's what my car-free lifestyle means today:

1 pair citizen jeans

1 tank top

1 turtleneck

1 down vest

1 black wool coat with purple lining

1 green scarf

2 pairs gloves, one black, one brown, one on top of the other

1 alpaca hat

1 pair socks and tall leather boots ...

... and I'm still cold. At 9am this morning, it registered 7 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, I live close to the metro and have a lot of generous friends with cars who are looking after me.

It promises to be an eventful four-day weekend. The air is buzzing with anticipation and energy. Non-service businesses are closing to keep employees at home and the roads open. Here at work, we're devoting our parking lots to tour buses. In an attempt to control the masses who are expected to descend upon DC over the next few days, bridges are being closed to cars, areas are being contained, and no one really knows what to expect. There are rumors our cell phones won't work due to overload. An entire runway at Dulles International Airport has been reserved for private jets. Celebrities such as Oprah and Beyonce and Bono will be here. Parties and balls and parades and musical events are being planned.

Obamanos, let the next four years begin.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alhambra Negra

Leandro the Missing (found here) has requested a beer post, so here goes:

One of my pleasures is to meet for lunch at Jaleo. The chef Jose Andres is a celebrity in the Washington, DC area with several restaurants, a cooking show on PBS, and a recipe book called Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America.

I like the tortilla de patatas, the gambas al ajillo, and the ensalada de remolacha con citricos, topped off with a delicious Alhambra Negra and a cup of coffee.

This full-bodied lager is brewed in Spain with an alcohol content of 6.4% and is described as having an educated Mediterranean taste, a touch of caramel, and a trace of licorice. My current fav.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Born in a town full of Eskimos, Rob believes in only two things: polar bears and eskimo kisses. As a lad he journeyed many moons around the small villages of Alaska with his best friend Tarka fighting the Russians and attempting to secede from America while growing massive amounts of herbal life.

In 2008, he finally looked for life outside of Alaska and made the great journey to Canada where he and Tarka took seven brides who also had seven wives and began a small religious community dedicated to the idea that god is just a polar bear who sometimes gives rough eskimo kisses. He and his small army of wives have no children of their own, but often dress up seals in baby clothes and lipstick and name them after important historical figures from Alaska.

His goals for 2009 remain the same as they have always been ... preach the word of the bear and give everyone in the world an eskimo kiss.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Born and raised in Brazil, the daughter of a native Brazilian mulata mother and Irish American father, Jenifer looks exactly NOT like any of her parents and always wondered if she was found in a trash can somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

She is devoted to her job in the mornings, a university student in the evenings, and a single mom of a little boy who is a mini copy of his father at night. She loves to cook and dance and hates when people thinks she's latina. If Jenifer isn't at work, at home or at school, she's causing trouble somewhere around the city!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Mina is a renaissance woman. She teaches yoga, makes jewelry, designs publications and Web sites, takes photos, dabbles in stained glass, painting and other arts and crafts, plays with kitties, drinks wine, loves to cook, and enjoys hanging with her rock star hubby, Shawn.

In previous lives she was in the banking and telecommunications industries and walked the world half asleep. Now she's elevated and awakened, thanks to yoga. To find out more about Mina, visit her daily photo blog found here. She's posting to keep us all present.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Starbucks in Madrid

Whenever I go away to a new city, I always try out the subway system during my visit. I feel like it brings me closer to the location's "real" people. During the last few years, for some reason, I've made the local Starbucks trip just as important during my travels. I'm not sure what the real benefit is but it makes me happy and the reward is a good cup of coffee. Above is a photo of the Starbucks I frequented for two weeks straight when I was in Madrid a few years ago.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Pablo Picasso, 1937
In protest of war and violence.

Currently displayed in the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Guernica is an enormous painting that reminds one of newspaper reporting. The actual color is more brown than black. Notice the mother wailing at the loss of her child. See the flames and feel the suffering. Speak up against Israel's relentless bombing of Gaza. It's too much and it's gone on for too long.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chanel and Her World (2005)

The legacy of Chanel in the fashion world is well known to anyone who follows clothing design even on the most superficial level. Coco's personal life was intertwined with her professional one. She was surrounded by a long list of talented writers, painters, dancers, and photographers. Her lovers were handsome, athletic, and well-connected. And so the story goes during the couturiere's rise to fame.

Edmonde Charles-Roux's Chanel and Her World is a quick read in spite of its 400 pages. The text is presented like a series of blog entries: a photo, headline, and a few informational paragraphs with a lot of white space and loose progression forward. The book, originally written in French, is a direct translation and the sentence structure is a little difficult to follow in some places. And like most art books, this one would benefit greatly from a good editor. But negatives aside, Chanel and Her World is a keeper and in honor of Coco's ever-present cigarette, I smoked one last night. Happy New Year!

Click on the link to find out more about this book.